I'm a poet and writer living for the past six years in the South Jersey shore area. I moved here from North Jersey in 2009 after the 2008 death of my husband William J. (Bill) Higginson, author of The Haiku Handbook, to be closer to my daughter and family. I'm a mom, grandma, and sometimes poet-teacher for the NJSCA. My work has appeared in many journals, and in twenty-some books (including chapbooks). I read at the Dodge Festival in 2010, and was in residence at VCCA in January of 2011. Here are some links to my newest books, my website (which hasn't been updated since Bill's death), and my blog:
New books: Recycling Starlight; The Resonance Around Us http://mountainsandriverspress.org/TitleView.aspx
One Bowl: [a prizewinning e-book] http://tinyurl.com/kca3fpr
Visit my web site: www.2hweb.net/penhart
Visit my blog: http://penhart.wordpress.com
Beyond the Mirror
In the ICU you ask me to bring you
a mirror. I think you want to see
your face—thinning hair, sparse beard,
and cheeks almost as pale as the pillow
cradling your head.
I fear bringing you one, believe you
will despair as the mirror confirms
that you are dying—confirms that
fact for both of us, although the doctor
still is dangling hope.
"It's like Star Trek in here," you say,
"you know, the Sick Bay," as you
stare at the TV above your bed, the one
showing the Theraflu commercial where
a woman takes a spoonful and pinks up.
When I bring you the mirror, you only
gaze briefly at your face, then angle it
to reflect the single window behind your
bed, the one that opens onto red maples
and a deep autumn sky.
And I understand that you need to know
the world is still there, though you sense
you will be leaving it; want to rise above
your body and know where you are
before the mirror dies.
©2014 Penny Harter